The first year of college continues to be the most critical and vulnerable period for student attrition at all types of higher education institutions, including highly selective colleges and universities. Provision of strategic and timely support for students during the first year can also lead to more enduring effects that extend beyond the first year, accumulating and culminating in higher rates of student persistence to degree completion and greater gains in student learning between college matriculation and graduation.
This webinar will stimulate enthusiasm for the development of a comprehensive and coordinated first-year experience (FYE) program characterized by campus-wide investment and ownership, cross-divisional collaboration in pursuit of a common goal, and a collective spirit of energy/synergy. Intended outcomes or goals of a substantive FYE program will be identified (e.g., student retention, academic achievement, holistic development), as well as core principles and systemic processes that are most likely to promote the most potent effects on student outcomes (e.g., self-efficacy, active involvement/engagement, and social integration).
Powerful principles will also be discussed with best practices relating to core components of a comprehensive FYE program (e.g., advising, teaching, curriculum, co-curriculum, assessment) and to roles played by key campus constituents involved in delivery (e.g., academic advisors, instructional faculty, academic-support professionals, and student development professionals).
Participants will acquire specific, practical strategies for:
- Promoting students’ personal validation by creating a welcoming first impression to campus and getting to know students at a personal level
- Increasing students’ sense of self-efficacy by balancing challenge with support, providing effective feedback, and exposing students to successful role models
- Helping students find personal meaning in their college experience by intentionally articulating the purpose and value of a college education, and by helping them make meaningful connections between: (a) courses and disciplines, (b) academic and experiential learning, and (c) their current life and future goals
- Actively involving students in the learning process through use of engaging pedagogy inside the classroom and intentional strategies that engage students in learning experiences outside the classroom
- Socially integrating students into the campus community by involving them in small-group and team-learning learning experiences in class, and by intentionally connecting them to faculty, staff, and peers outside of class
- Encouraging students to reflect on academic and experiential learning by providing them “quiet time” for thinking and opportunities for reflective writing in response to thinking prompts
- Increasing students’ self-awareness and mindfulness with respect to their learning strategies, styles, habits, ways of thinking, and personal values via practices that stimulate self-monitoring, meta-cognition, self-regulation, and self-assessment
- 2 & 4-year institutions
- Academic Affairs/Instruction
- Student Services/Affairs
- First Year Experience Coordinators
- Learning & Tutoring Centers
- Academic Support Professionals
- Student Support Professionals
- Faculty (full and part-time)
- Career Services
- Residence Life
- Retention Specialist
- Directors of Assessment